Help with dumb cane - Knowledgebase Question

Winnipeg, MB Canada
Question by Saffire
August 26, 2017
Hi! I recently adopted a dumb cane and have a couple questions that I can't seem to find an answer to online. It seems to me that it was definitely left to become overgrown and perhaps not given the correct light? After some research I was planning to maybe clip the top off and repot to bring it back to what appears to be a more correct height. I do like the plant being as tall as it is but was wondering if leaves will grow further down the stem or if it will remain bare and top heavy. I am not too sure what I should do with this plant and am hoping to get some suggestions! I am now also wondering if the pot I have it in is too big after some reading it sounds like these guys like to be a little root bound.
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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Answer from DaisyI
August 26, 2017

3

Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane) does need good bright light (not sun) and water when the soil is dry an inch down. You can cut off its head to force it to branch but that is up to you. The stem will never be bushy and leafy. New branches will grow just below where ever you choose to cut but not lower down. After cutting, the plant may grow between 1 and 3 new branches at the top of the stem.

You can start new plants from the part you cut off and add them to your pot making the plant appear bushier. Cut the section you take off into pieces, leaving 2 or 3 nodes on each piece. Let the newly cut pieces sit overnight then plant them. If you remember which end was down on the mother plant, you can plant that end down. If you don't remember, plant the piece on its side just barely under the surface of the soil.

The pot size looks right to me.

Winnipeg, MB Canada
A comment from Saffire
August 27, 2017
Thank you! Much appreciated and very helpful! 😊 I think I will cut it down a bit and try to make it into a bushier plant as you mentioned. 😊

Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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A comment from WillC
August 27, 2017
I endorse all that Daisy explained. Pay close attention to: " New branches will grow just below where ever you choose to cut but not lower down." That means that if you cut off just the top portion, you will still be left with a tall, bare lower stem. I think you are much better off cutting the stem about 6 inches above the pot. That will eliminate most of the bare stem and if you improve the light and watering, it will soon grow taller but will maintain more of its leaves along the lower stem. When Dieffenbachias get very tall, their stems tend to lean and bend under the weight of their leaves, so growing them really tall isn't such a great idea.

Winnipeg, MB Canada
A comment from Saffire
August 27, 2017
Thanks! Yes, I think you are right and I'm going to try that and keep a couple other cuttings so I can maybe have 4 or so in the pot. This plant was definitely left to grow a bit out of control, I actually have it tied to a support to keep it upright otherwise it would be bent completely sideways it's so heavy!

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